I was on call for almost two weeks, which is pretty average. The difference this time was that the expectant couple who hired me as their doula did so when they were already three days past their due date.
At the 42 week mark, tests were run, concerns were raised, and the decision was made to set the ball in motion, and by ball, I mean baby. I don't usually head off to provide labor support until there is actually some sort of labor happening -a watched mamapot never contracts- but when a mama is 4 centimeters dilated before she even goes into labor, there is always the off chance that baby will fly out in an hour or two. Besides, a pitocin induction,-strapped to monitors and IVs and stuck in a miserable bed -could be used to extract information from foreign spies. Successfully. So I went.
I helped with this birth even though I still have a nursling. Guy brought Jonah to the hospital so that I could feed him at about the 9 hour mark, but baby wouldn't be born for another 11 hours.
Sometime in between, I looked up at the dry erase board at the date.
Ten years to the day since my first miscarriage. I looked back over to the laboring mama and felt myself smiling. Funny how life just keeps going. I thought about the pain that date used to hold for me, but now as I watched this first-time mother-about-to-be as she welcomed the pains that would bring her baby to her arms, I felt only gratitude - that I could be there to help her, that I have had three healthy kidlets
since my October 7th, and that,
all in all,
life is good.
The baby came the next day. I was tired, but couldn't, absolutely could not, complain. I got to witness a life begin. I was blessed to see a family come into being. I had the opportunity to lend my hands to help. How often in a day do you get to say that? I went home later that day, took a little nap, and then dove right back into my life.
Well, maybe I stumbled groggily, but happily, nonetheless.
I love being a mom. I love my adorable husband. Sadly, I need reminders, like seeing a sweet, shiny little family with that new baby smell, to help me look past boogers wiped on walls and uneaten sack lunches shoved into the backs of closets (I know, nice, huh?). But it is also good to remember those days that we thought we would never be able to live through - the ones so full of anguish and heartache that next week and next month seemed insurmountable - just to realize that life goes on.
babies are born,
get wiped on walls.